Effects of treatment with imipramine and clonazepam on an animal model of panic disorder

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44 Scopus citations


Tonic GABAergic inhibition in the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) has been shown to regulate a constellation of behavioral and physiological responses that resemble a human panic attack. The present study was aimed at testing if the panic-like response elicited by injecting gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) antagonists into the DMH can be blocked by pretreating the animals with the antipanic drugs, imipramine and clonazepam. Rats were fitted with arterial catheters and bilateral chronic microinjection cannulae in the DMH. Their baseline heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and "anxiety" (measured by the social interaction test) responses to injection of the GABAa antagonist bicuculline methiodide (BMI) into the DMH were recorded. After treatment in a double-blind manner with vehicle, imipramine (5 and 15 mg/kg, 7 days), and clonazepam (5 mg/kg, 3 days), the response to BMI microinjection into the DMH was once again recorded. Both imipramine and clonazepam, but not vehicle treatments blocked the BMI response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)745-758
Number of pages14
JournalBiological psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 1994


  • anxiety
  • blood pressure
  • dorsomedial hypothalamus
  • Gamma-aminobutyric acid
  • heart rate
  • social interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

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